Friday Cephalopod: Pearlescent! »« Haters gotta hate

Anthony Navarro is an evil scumbag

Be warned. This is a horrific story.

Anthony Navarro Jr. is a righteous fundamentalist who is opposed without reservation to divorce. His brother, Dave Navarro, decided to leave his marriage — so Anthony Jr. stalks and harasses his own brother, threatening him, harasses people associated with him, lies about him, contacts his clients and basically destroys his business, all because he will not tolerate the fact that a man and a woman can decide to dissolve the bonds of matrimony. He has a religious belief in an absolutely insoluble form of marriage, which he insists on imposing on others (Anthony Jr.’s wife is apparently trapped for life).

Anthony Jr. writes a letter to Dave.

Psalms 69:5
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Jeremiah 3:25
Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

Brother, no matter how fast you run, you cannot run from your sin, nor its penalty. Come back to the light, come back into the circle of blessing. You need not continue to live like a fugitive… Like a coward.

Adultery is the greatest sin addressed in the bible. Realize, Dave, that you are committing adultery… Against your wife, Alison; against your children, and against God. You are guilty of the same sin as our mother and it cost her her life in the end… It cost her her soul. Her selfishness was her downfall. Do not fall into the same trap… The same spiral… The same death… The same eternity.

Why do you not even talk? Are you so ashamed? You can turn back to the right path, and you can be forgiven.

It’s not too late. Yet.

-Anthony

That’s a scary letter. That’s a letter written by a demented fuckwit. But you haven’t heard the worst of it yet.

What happened to Dave and Anthony Jr.’s mother?

Their mother left their father when they were children. Anthony Navarro Sr. hired a hit man to murder her in front of her daughter and mother. Anthony Navarro Sr. was convicted of this crime and is currently serving life in prison.

So Anthony Navarro Jr. is now blaming his mother for her murder by his father, and is now perpetuating the same warped, sanctimonious idea that divorce justifies murder.

So that’s what the Bible means by “sins of the father”.

Comments

  1. sumdum says

    Always with the ‘blame the victim’ mentality. She deserved to get killed, look how she flaunted her divorce around, that ungodly whore. I hope this will get stopped before junior decides to imitate senior with lethal force.

  2. says

    Seems to be a case of undiagnosed mental illness to me..
    Not the Religious belief,but the unwavering fundamentalism of it..

    You cant spell fundamentalist without spelling Mental..

  3. Eskil says

    Ref: My last post.

    Different Dave Navarro, it seems. Not that this makes it any less frightening. Holy crap!

  4. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Her selfishness was her downfall. Do not fall into the same trap… The same spiral… The same death… The same eternity.

    This sounds like a (barely) veiled death threat to me. Could it be enough for Dave to seek some legal action/protection? Especially if there were more threats and harassment.

  5. Eskil says

    Ref: My last post.

    Different Dave Navarro, it seems. Not that this makes it any less horrific. Holy crap!

  6. Pradeep says

    PZ, I am on the East Coast and it is 7:14 AM here on Sept. 30, 2011 and you are one time zone behind me, yet your posting time is showing as 10:56 AM? Please let me use your time machine, pretty please.

  7. julian says

    Mental trauma or not this man is very dangerous. That he’s blaming his mother for her own murder makes me fearful of what might happen to his wife or any woman in his life. This is not someone who should be walking around in public. Is there anyway to get him some help? Or does his harassment have to escalate to violence or death threats before he’s taken seriously as a threat?

  8. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Ref: My last post.

    Different Dave Navarro, it seems. Not that this makes it any less horrific. Holy crap!

    /facepalm

  9. says

    fredricmartin:

    This is only surprising because it’s happening to a man.

    No, that’s not the reason this is surprising. I would say it’s surprising (shocking is a better word) because it’s terrible when humans act this way. It’s a lot of things, frightening and repulsive among them.

    This is something perpetrated by a man who was deeply twisted in his childhood (try clicking the link and reading the whole story), who bought into his mother’s murder as a right and proper action on his father’s part. Now he’s carrying on that twistedness onto his brother and his brother’s friends.

    It’s not as simple as “oh, it’s only a big deal because it’s a man.”

  10. docslacker says

    Reading the full report of Anthony Navarro’s harassment. And this is scary scary stuff. He got the police to take his brother to have him involuntarily committed. And then he began to threaten the life of Dave and a friend. It is much worse. How is that man not arrested?

  11. Fleegman says

    What I fail to understand, is how these demented idiots don’t see the internal contradictions of what they’re saying.

    The first version is that you can do anything you want in this life. When you die, God steps in and sorts out all the righteous hell-burning if he thinks you deserve it.

    The second version is that, as in the story above, their mother was killed because she brought it on herself by defying God. So, God killed her by proxy because she really pissed him off.

    They can’t have it both ways, though. Either God sits back and watches, or he speeds up your death because you’re a really bad person. If the latter were the case, there would be no way to redeem yourself if you sufficiently pissed off God that he has you killed somehow. And I can think of many examples of historical figures being evil bastards during their long, not-killed-early-by-God lives.

  12. Michael says

    err damaged much?

    I am reminded of the research on Boobys (sp?), sea birds that when abused as chicks are likely to abuse as adults. I’m not saying that this man isn’t potentially dangerous but based on what has happened in his life is it any surprise that he is so deranged?

    The murder of the boys mother by the father is far more horrific to me than his subsequent (so far) behaviour. ‘Evil Scumbag’ gotta say that is a little harsh, guy needs help. Clearly PZ’s grief at the hands of the spamming guy (mabus?) has reduced his tolerance even further. Franky this doesn’t look like the evil of religion to me; more that religion just happens to be the focus for this particular little boy’s torment.

    ‘Demented fuckwit’ does not sound like the summary of a deep thinker and certainly not how I would want people that I respect to approach a tragedy.

  13. julian says

    @Michael

    There’s no tragedy yet (aside from the murder of his mother) but if this behavior keeps up there very well might be.

  14. Sakurazaki Setsuna says

    Oh, this certainly was a lovely story to read right before going to bed.

    Ugh. The first part was bad enough, I didn’t really think it could get much worse. And then it did.

  15. says

    Michael:

    I am reminded of the research on Boobys (sp?), sea birds that when abused as chicks are likely to abuse as adults. I’m not saying that this man isn’t potentially dangerous but based on what has happened in his life is it any surprise that he is so deranged?

    I went through years and years of abuse which would horrify you if I cared to detail it. I’m not deranged nor am I abusive. It’s flat out stupid to generalize about people who were abused. I’ll remind you that David Navarro had the same experience and is not running around being a danger to people.

    The murder of the boys mother by the father is far more horrific to me than his subsequent (so far) behaviour.

    Oh? Did you bother to read the whole story or are you just happy to make assumptions? I think having his brother hauled off to a mental institution and locked up to be on the horrific scale, and I certainly think that David Navarro facing the possibility of never being able to see his children again to be horrific.

    ‘Evil Scumbag’ gotta say that is a little harsh, guy needs help.

    Oh, it’s harsh, is it? Anthony Navarro has ruined his brother’s business, most likely ruined his ability to work in his chosen career ever again, has stalked him, harassed him, had him locked up, has made it too dangerous for him to see his children, has stalked, harassed and threatened his brother’s friends and co-workers. If all Anthony Navarro needs is help, then why are the police unable to do anything? You haven’t thought about this much, have you?

    Clearly PZ’s grief at the hands of the spamming guy (mabus?) has reduced his tolerance even further.

    That you, Michael Hawkins? Clearly, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You certainly haven’t been stalked and received death threats.

    Franky this doesn’t look like the evil of religion to me; more that religion just happens to be the focus for this particular little boy’s torment.

    Oh, it’s the evil of religion. Anthony Navarro is not a little boy. He’s an adult. A twisted, evil fucker who would rather see his brother dead than divorced.

    ‘Demented fuckwit’ does not sound like the summary of a deep thinker and certainly not how I would want people that I respect to approach a tragedy.

    You don’t sound like someone who respects PZ. You sound a great deal like someone who wants to dictate his behaviour.

    When someone acts like a demented fuckwit, it’s perfectly fine to call them a demented fuckwit.

  16. Maria says

    There is more information about the people involved in this on X .

    [I'm sorry, but that saltydroid site is advocating harassment and worse. It is now on the blacklist, please don't bother referencing it ever again. --pzm]

  17. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Caine,

    That you, Michael Hawkins?

    I very much doubt it. MH is too egocentric and tries to blogwhore (and probably not that stupid either).

    (Yeah, I get you’re in hulk mode, nor do I blame you)

  18. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Well, he will certainly censor them, but perhaps it might impress him ?

    Sadly, it sounds like he is way pass the point where reasoning could change his mind.

  19. Scott says

    I’d sue his ass (and the rest of him) for defamation. I’d say some hefty punitive damages would shut him up.

  20. John Morales says

    [meta — clarification - to Michael @19]

    Uh, I just realised I was talking to peers, there.

    I didn’t mean to imply you were stupid, rather that it would be very stupid of Michael Hawkins to morph.

    (Yeah, I might be wrong in my estimation. Time will tell)

  21. says

    Maria:

    There is more information about the people involved in this on http://X .

    So, you’re supporting Anthony Navarro? X was mentioned in the article linked by PZ:

    Another commentator on his website suggests Anthony get in touch with X, a website devoted to taking down internet scammers.

    “X” takes the case.

    He posts about Dave. He posts about me.

    And then the death threats started coming.

    I had stolen another woman’s husband. That was adultery. I have to die.

    The products I sell are scams. That is lying. I have to die.

    I hang out with other scammers. That is collusion. I have to die, and so do they.

  22. says

    Caine,

    I wasn’t trying to diminish the horror of this story. I suppose I could try and tease my thought out, but that’d just be a further derailment. My words were poorly chosen, my bad.

  23. Stewart Riley says

    Seems to me that if you read the full account of all this madness at IttyBiz, it’s not just a man being targeted. This loon has turned his wrath and that of his supporters on a woman too. No doubt this is because he can’t imagine his brother doing this without a “Jezabel” to lead him into the “sin” of divorce.

    Just more of his religiously-motivated insanity, but also just the same, terrible, misogynistic garbage we see from fundies the world over.

  24. Doug says

    Anthony Jr. is probably cheating on his own wife and using his demented beliefs as cover. He’ll put a hit out on her when she finds out. I fear for her life.

  25. says

    Warning:
    One of the sites mentioned, Rock Your Day, owned by Dave Navarro, is contaminated. Opera warned me when I went to the main site, but not when I followed a deep link. Luckily ESET caught it.

  26. Michael says

    @Julian It was the murder of the mother that I was referring to.

    @Caine Ok now just chill a little ok. Firstly, anecdote is not a form of evidence, I don’t doubt what happened to you was tragic and how you coped with that is your business – but just because you didn’t turn into a babbling idiot doesn’t mean that others experiencing the same or similar trauma wouldn’t.

    I was referring to a proper scientific study showing causation. Its widely understood that abusers are the victims of abuse in a large frequency of cases . That of course doesn’t, in humans at least, justify taking your pain out on others. At all. It was the thing that really stood out for me when reading the post; makes me think of The Fisher King. Anyway like I say not a justication just an observation. At what point does a scientific result stop becoming a generalisation? 90% of the sample? 99%? 99.9999999?

    And you are absolutely correct, I didn’t look any further into the story than the post above, I read the letter and the text and saw a damaged individual on a destructive path. One that is clearly having a massive and horriific impact on David, way more than I realised and that is a part of this tragedy. So, yes ok, I can see how my comments could seem flippant but I assure you they weren’t intended that way

    For me it was just instantly not that simple. Evil Scumbag I mean? Is it really that simple? For all the deserved condemnation and calls for action, I dunno maybe I am just a wooly liberal but ‘evil’ doesn’t really seem like the right word for me. Was he always this way then?

    I am not sure I understand your comment that “if all he needs is help, why are the police unable to do anything” is that what you meant because it doesn’t make sense? And I think you misunderstand, where I am from ‘guy needs help’ is an idiom and is a fairly severe criticism of someone’s mental health; not a gentle arm around the shoulder. And no I haven’t been stalked, so yes what would I know – I did notice that a large section of the discourse at this time was about getting PZz stalker some mental health care – in amongst the rage and fury of course.

    I guess what I am saying is that to me Anthony is a victim in this tragedy too and it is all too easy to respond with abuse and revulsion at his behaviour – I am appalled by it and feel desperately sorry for Dave and his family who have had to put up with the same trauma and coped differently as well as being entirely innocent victims of Anthony’s wrath, a double hit – I just wonder what would you do if he were put in front of you for punishment; put him to death or put him in to care? Like you said he is ‘twisted’. Well, how did that happen then?

    If religion didn’t exist, Anthony couldn’t hang his neurosis on it, but you can’t say that this one is down to religion, you just can’t. What if he had decided that it was capitalism that was the problem so went and bombed banks? What if he decided that a free press was what was wrong with the world and decided to shoot people holding newpapers? What if he decided that it was religion that was the evil and started burning down churches during congregation time? None of these would be vaild arguments for shutting banks, newspapers or churches (there are plenty of other good arguments for that sort of thing).

    Look, I am an atheist, and to (mis)quote the great Hitchens, religion is poisonous; just because it is this man’s poison though is not the reason why.

  27. Carbon Based Life Form says

    Franky this doesn’t look like the evil of religion to me; more that religion just happens to be the focus for this particular little boy’s torment.

    I tend to agree. Yes, there are religious trappings here, but “you got divorced so you must die” is not a religious teaching. Al is a nutcase, very likely a dangerous nutcase, but it’s a perversion of religion that he has. If he were not religious, he would almost certainly have come up with a different excuse for persecuting someone.

  28. Michael says

    @john Morales

    [meta — clarification - to Michael @19]

    Uh, I just realised I was talking to peers, there.

    I didn’t mean to imply you were stupid, rather that it would be very stupid of Michael Hawkins to morph.

    Thank you John – I was feeling the pain so appreciate the clarification.

    @Caine

    John:

    I very much doubt it. MH is too egocentric and tries to blogwhore (and probably not that stupid either).
    Oh, I know. Michael and Michael have much in common though.

    I guess you are just a little nore spiteful?

  29. says

    And on topic: even if Dave walked out on his family as described by his brother, even if he and Naomi cheated on their partners, this would be still completely and totally uncalled for. This is complete and utter madness (shut up about Sparta).

    If all those accusations were true, what would be called for would be a brother to brother talk, along the lines of “you’re hurting people who love you, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do this, just that you should do this differently”.

    But this? Is Anthony related to Mabus? And what, for the love of Mike, is that Salty Droid’s stake in this? Do the owners of that site just really, really, really hate marketeers?

  30. says

    Michael:

    @Caine Ok now just chill a little ok.

    Way to be a Cupcake, Michael. I don’t need to “chill”. I’m quite relaxed and comfortable. You might want to lose making stupid assumptions before it becomes your forte.

  31. SmooveBB says

    Deuteronomy 24:1-2 (NKJV) 1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house. 2 “when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife…..”

  32. Michael says

    s’funny, when I re-read before I posted that was the only line I was going to take out, as I didn’t think it helpful. I left it in order to seem more human I think.

    You do, however, seem quite angry to me; must be the vaguely ad hom rhetoric that seems to be your style so I am kinda glad I left it in now.

    What does it mean to be a cupcake anyway? Sounds delightful.

  33. says

    Anthony Navarro, Jr. is an idiot and not even a good fundie. In other words, “The stupid, it burns.”

    Perhaps this little boy should actually READ his Bronze-Age book before hitting others over the head with it:

    Deuteronomy 24:1-2—When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

    Seems like divorce is allowed after all. (He quotes from the OT, I quote from the OT)

    Oh and Tony Junior is going straight to hell for his harassment, so his little plan is backfiring:

    1 John 4:20-21—If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

    And finally, let me flip Junior one last bird:

    Matthew 7:1-5—Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    If only god were real, then she could take Anthony Navarro, Jr. and give him a good shake.

  34. SmooveBB says

    Even the bible doesn’t uniformly support he position of this guy. He is a nut that needs to be locked away from others, regardless of the reasons for which he does it. If a person is a danger to others, whether from child abuse, brain damage, or just general meanness, they need to be separated from those they could hurt.

  35. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Michael,

    Anthony is ruining and threatening his brother’s life. Gee, I wonder why people can’t muster all that much sympathy or kind words for him, empathizing instead with Dave.

  36. says

    Wow! in the name of the Navarros that are not crazy, I just wanna say that there are many of us who are atheists and freethinkers. But it’s not nice to check your feed and see your family name (though we’re not related) featured in Pharyngula as an example of religious nuttery. At least I’m glad is not one of my cousins.

  37. Michael says

    @Beatrice

    I agree, I agree, and I guess I don’t expect anyone to have any sympathy for Anthony. I just can’t help feeling sorry for him even though I feel even more sorry for David. Does that make me evil? Or stupid?

    I just would have rather the post was ‘Poor David Navarro’ instead of ‘Evil Anthony Navarro’ – does anybody see what I mean?

    We just had a story, here in the UK.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042764/Jack-Williams-16-hanged-woods-father-Darren-killed-himself.html

    A 16 year old boy who hanged himself in the same woods that his father hanged himself after shooting (but failing to kill) the boy’s mother. I can only just stop myself from crying as I type about it, the tragedy is just so complete for everyone involved.

    I see similar tragedy at play here and it makes me want to weep for all of them, not just David.

    Fuck it, I give up, send him to the chair then if you all think that’s best.

  38. Dianne says

    That letter sounds like a flat out threat to me. Can’t the police do anything? Get a restraining order? Arrest AN for making threats? Tap his phone on suspicion to see if he calls any hitmen? (Hit people? Professional assassins? What is the politically correct form of “hitman” anyway?)

  39. Anthony Dewar says

    Love when someone tries to apply one event to ALL religious people, or ALL religion.

    Isn’t THAT irrational thinking?

    PZ this is akin to someone saying look at this lazy black guy. Man ALL blacks sure are lazy.

    Or hey, Michael Jackson molested multiple boys. Man them blacks sure are crazy.

    You see how ignorant it is to make claims such as that?

    Almost as ignorant as someone believing that god made them 8,000 years ago.

    I think we need to assess people by the individual, not as a class.

    Cmon, not ALL republicans are pro life. Just as not ALL religious are crazy.

    There are religious people who are just happy going about life not caring to try and apply their religion to science. These people need not conflict with science.

    Let’s fight the outspoken religious who try attacking science, not ALL of the religious.

    Let’s rant about Gov. Rick perry. He is obviously anti science, and being in a position of power, is in direct conflict with science.

  40. says

    Love when someone tries to apply one event to ALL religious people, or ALL religion.

    Apparently, I missed that part. Could you just point out who was doing that?

  41. says

    I almost wanted to reply to Anthony Dewar by making the claim that all religious people seem to have this peculiar need to read their own assumptions into people’s writing. But I will not do that as it is unfair. However, it does seem that many people in general are unable to read what is actually there and instead substitute their own meaning.

  42. chigau () says

    Michael

    Fuck it, I give up, send him to the chair then if you all think that’s best.

    Ok now just chill a little ok.

  43. Brownian says

    PZ this is akin to someone saying look at this lazy black guy. Man ALL blacks sure are lazy.

    Please quote where PZ did that.

    Although, now that we have two examples of Tonys with poor reading skills, can we start making generalisations about guys named Anthony?

  44. Dianne says

    I just wonder what would you do if he were put in front of you for punishment; put him to death or put him in to care?

    Assuming everything is as it is presented here (and all I’ve got to go on are internet statements, not first hand knowledge), I’d get Anthony thoroughly evaluated by a psychiatrist with experience in violent criminals. If any treatable pathology is found, certainly treat that. But he isn’t going to be safe for release into the public for at least 20 years. The safest course for Dave and his family would be for Anthony to be put away, either in prison or in a secure psychiatric facility, as appropriate, for at least 2 decades. That gives Anthony’s children a chance to grow up without his distorting influence and when he gets out he’ll be older (and thus less able to carry out physical threats) and poorer (and thus less able to hire someone to do his dirty work.) I doubt Anthony is salvagable as a human being, but killing him would be simply inhumane.

  45. says

    And I do not mean to sound like I assume Anthony Dewar is a Christian. I have no idea. I just wanted to make use of his their assumption.

  46. Secular Transhumanist says

    I like how he doesn’t even capitalize the word “Bible”.

    But yeah, if I was his brother, I’d definitely be contacting the police. Sure sounds like a terroristic threat to me.

  47. raven says

    He has a religious belief in an absolutely insoluble form of marriage, which he insists on imposing on others (Anthony Jr.’s wife is apparently trapped for life).

    Which might not be very long. (I thought that before I read what happened to the creep’s mother.)

    Has anyone checked to see if she isn’t chained in the basement or something?

    And oh BTW, did you know that religion is the source of all morality?

  48. Gnumann says

    mon, not ALL republicans are pro life.

    NO republicans are pro-life. But some are openly anti-woman.7

    Just as not ALL religious are crazy.

    That one rather depend on the definition for “crazy”.

    There are religious people who are just happy going about life not caring to try and apply their religion to science. These people need not conflict with science.

    People don’t “conflict with science” – ideas can do though. Namely all dualist ideas (of which all religious ideas are a subset).

  49. raven says

    In some states this would be illegal.

    Not too sure what the laws are but stalking and harassment can be crimes. Death threats are federal crimes, felonies.

    There was a case recently in Minnesota where some guy starting internet harassing his neighbor for some reason. He eventually got put away in prison for a few years.

  50. Jorge says

    If he would be a Muslim, media would portrait that case as another example of fundamentalism. As he is a Christian, he is just mad. Same happend with the mad Norwegian who killed 60 something guys…

    Is not a bit unfair?

    Just a thought. He should go to hell, if hell would exist

  51. raven says

    There are all sorts of biblical rules being broken here.

    “Vengeance is mine says the lord.”

    Matthew 7:1-3 KJV – Judge not that ye be not judged For – Bible …www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A1-3…Cached – Similar

    Judge not that ye be not judged For with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again.

    Of course, in the OT, adulterers are to be stoned to death.

    The bible is just a giant Rorschach ink blot and you can find anything in it you want.

  52. Dianne says

    He should go to hell, if hell would exist

    He will go to hell. He is hell and he carries hell around him. But he won’t exist after he dies, so I suppose that’s when he’ll stop being in hell.

    But honestly, I don’t care about him. If I could stick him on a holodeck where he could happily consort with 75 virgins and not hurt anyone else I’d be fine with that. It’s the fact that he insists on bringing his hell to other people that worries me.

  53. says

    The Old Testament permitted divorce, but the New Testament has Jesus clearly denouncing divorce as anti-God (From Mark 10):

    Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
    “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
    They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
    “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.

    And since Jesus makes the stakes very clear (for example Matthew 5):

    If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

    A particularly twisted mind can easily find justification for cutting off his right hand/ruining his brother’s life. It is after all, for the Greater Good – the avoidance of his brother and his ex-wife’s spiral into hell. Of course, Matthew 5 also contains the line:

    But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

    But that’s what cherry-picking was designed for.

    I don’t support the threat – obviously, but I have to admire the depths of how sinister and veiled it was (you have to know what happened to the mother to know that it was a threat).

  54. says

    Just a thought. He should go to hell, if hell would exist

    No. No, he shouldn’t. The idea that some people “deserve” to be tortured in retribution for their wrongdoing is a pre-rational and pre-civilized idea. It has no place in a secular system of ethics. Unfortunately, even among non-religious people, some still seem to indulge an irrational desire for vengeance – hence why many societies still have the death penalty, overcrowded prisons, and so forth.

    Revenge is an irrational response. A rational response to criminal behaviour is to try to understand the social and psychological causes, and to try to treat those causes (both on an individual and on a societal level) so as to reduce the incidence of crime.

    In this case, Navarro is clearly mentally disturbed – which is not surprising, given the horribly traumatic events he experienced in childhood. Abuse begets abuse, and many abusers are themselves former victims of abuse. He needs treatment, and I hope he gets the help he needs. I’m not convinced that calling him an “evil scumbag” is helpful or constructive.

  55. Rieux says

    Like most here, I’m horrified by this story—but I’m also confused about the narrator (a friend of Dave)’s notion that Dave has no legal recourse. According to the narrative, Anthony Jr. has engaged in some weapons-grade defamation (as Scott @29 notes), plus perhaps harassment and/or terroristic threats. There are in fact recourses for those kinds of misbehavior.

    I can imagine reasons why Dave might not consider legal action a good idea—but it’s certainly something I would seriously consider in his situation.

  56. Gregory Greenwood says

    That is jaw-droppingly horrible. He actually blames his mother for her murder at the hands of a man hired by his clearly fanatical and disturbed father, and has as good as threatened his brother (and possibly his brother’s ex and their children) with the same thing? I find it hard to conceive of a mind sick enough to entertain such a notion.

    This leads me to wonder:- does extremist religion attract the violent and delusional, or does it corrupt more or less ordinary people into this kind of twisted creature given enough time, or the opportunity to infest the mind of the host as a child?

    I think it is a bit of both, though I would say that Dawkins is right that brainwashing children into a religious custom should be considered a form of abuse.

  57. chigau () says

    I am not doctor but I see no evidence of mental illness.
    I see reprehensible and criminal behavior.
    Anthony Sr is in prison, not a psychiatric facility.

  58. kerfluffle says

    There are no angels in this story. Dave & the other woman are semi-scam artists who market “how to have a successful blog/internet business” ebooks, even though neither of them actually have a successful blog or business. The X site calls out people like them but in the grossest way possible, tons of sexism, ad homs and a bunch of ugly.

    None of that matters. Anthony is justifying killing women who leave abusive relationships in the name of the Lord. That’s a stand-alone evil.

  59. says

    I am not doctor but I see no evidence of mental illness.
    I see reprehensible and criminal behavior.
    Anthony Sr is in prison, not a psychiatric facility.

    The last point is irrelevant: I was talking about the son, not the father. (And, in any case, an extremely high proportion of the people currently in prison should be in psychiatric treatment instead: in the UK, an estimated two-thirds of the prison population suffer from one or more diagnosable mental disorders, and in the US the proportion is likely even higher. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that the criminal justice system generally makes rational decisions. It doesn’t.)

    In any case, the dichotomy is a false one. After all, all human behaviour is the product of a combination of genes, social conditioning and external stimuli: we do not “choose” to be who we are, nor do our personalities form in a vacuum. This is true whether or not a particular person’s psychological issues fit into one of the diagnostic boxes of “mental disorder”. Labelling those who exhibit harmful behaviour as “evil”, rather than trying to understand the psychological and experiential factors which caused them to end up that way, is an irrational and unscientific response. (The whole concept of “evil” has its roots in pre-rational religious thinking, after all, as does the idea that wrongdoers need to suffer retribution in order to expiate their wrongs.)

  60. amphiox says

    However, one should not automatically assume that having a mental disorder automatically excuses a perpetrator of any crime.

    An individual can easily have a mental disorder of some sort, and still be properly criminally responsible for a heinous act, and belong in jail. (Hopefully with access to psychiatric care, like any other form of medical care).

  61. Mattir says

    I love Christians. A bunch of the local ones spent a couple years trying to get a friend fired from his job when he took up with a young woman who had been caring for her severely brain injured husband alone for about 10 years. He moved in and helped care for the husband. Yep, where I see true love and family values, the Christians saw the Sin of Adultery™ and the need to get the generous and loving man fired from his job.

    And as to the “oh, he was abused, so we shouldn’t condemn this behavior” yammering, bullshit. Like Caine, I was abused. I do not abuse my children or relatives. The vast preponderance of adults who were abused as children do not go on to abuse their partners or children in adulthood. I can, if you wish, dig out citations galore for this fact – risk and protective factors in the intergenerational transmission of abusive parenting was the subject of my freaking dissertation.

    The often-repeated abused-kids-become-abusers meme is both FALSE AND CRUEL.

    We are all responsible for our actions. Abuse history should be relevant in the punishment-sentencing-consequences phase of things, but is not remotely pertinent in the blogging-about-why-someone-should-stop-being-abusive phase.

    Stop repeating lies.

  62. SmooveBB says

    It doesn’t necessarily matter if someone is mentally ill or not. A small percentage of the population seem to have incurable aggressive/dangerous tendencies. If someone’s behavior represents physical danger to other people, they need to be dealt with.

    It would probably be best to simply sterilize and lobotomize certain individuals. That way they won’t continue breeding children with whatever mental malfunction they themselves possess and also won’t need to be sent to prison or executed on the taxpayer’s dime. They can even have a job like sorting bolts.

    It would be great if everyone with a mental disorder could be cured through medication and/or psychological techniques. However, this doesn’t seem likely. Just as some people are born taller or shorter than others, some are born with (or are warped into having) the tendency to cause physical harm to other people. Consequently, they need to be stopped.

  63. Pteryxx says

    @Mattir: If you’re willing to give references, I’d very much like to add them to my knowledge-base. I’m only aware of the abusers-often-were-victims topic from Gavin de Becker, where he mentions it in passing in “The Gift of Fear”… something like, while some victims become violent, “… one of them wrote the book you are reading right now.”

  64. Vicki says

    “Abusers were often victims” does not in fact imply “Most victims become abusers,” but many people seem to have jumped to that conclusion.

  65. Nurse Ingrid says

    Anthony Dewar,

    I think you miss the point of PZ’s post. It isn’t that all religious people, or even most religious people, are crazy or homicidal. The point is that religion provides a unique cover for such people, because it provides no basis for distinguishing true claims from false ones.

    How would you propose that a religious believer tell the difference between someone God is really speaking to, and someone who is having a delusion that God is speaking to them? See the problem?

    That is how religion is poisoning this particular family.

  66. Salmo says

    Yeah, the meme isn’t “Most abused become abusers”, it’s “Most abusers were abused”. Don’t get confused.

  67. cyberCMDR says

    In the Middle East this would be called an honor killing. Religion is often used to justify violence, because it provides a “get out of jail free” morality card if you think you are doing God’s will. With it, you can justify honor killings, suicide bombing, sexual abuse of children (such as the child brides in the Tx Mormon sect), etc. Given the faulty reality filters of the not so sane crowd, it’s easy to convince yourself that God is on your side.

    Religious beliefs are untestable, with no inherent link to reality. No wonder the unstable often latch onto it as an extension of their distorted worldview.

  68. Mattir says

    You’d be surprised how hurtful abuse survivors find the “abusers were abused” rhetoric, particularly when someone says, as Michael did at #10:

    err damaged much?

    I am reminded of the research on Boobys (sp?), sea birds that when abused as chicks are likely to abuse as adults. I’m not saying that this man isn’t potentially dangerous but based on what has happened in his life is it any surprise that he is so deranged?

    Please explain exactly how Michael is making a careful delineation between abusers who repeat the cycle and those who do not.

  69. Esteleth says

    Salmo is correct. It is true that many abusers were previously – or still are – victims. It is NOT true that many abuse victims go on to abuse.
    It may be that Anthony Sr.’s abuse and murder of his wife led his son to think that his actions here are justified. It may not. It certainly looks that way, sure.
    It definitely seems to me that the younger Anthony is – like his father – a miserable excuse for a human. I fear for his wife. His actions are certainly illegal, and he deserves to be punished by the law and scorned by society.
    But mostly, I fear for Dave and his ex-wife. I hope they’re okay. Even in the best of situations, divorce is a painful process, and his douchenozzle of a “brother” is only making things harder and worse.

  70. Mattir says

    And while I’m at it, this:

    It would probably be best to simply sterilize and lobotomize certain individuals.

    is appalling. Sterilization doesn’t help prevent violence, and lobotomy is simply mutilation with an ice pick, no different from chopping off hands and noses.

    Side note: I’ve met patients who had lobotomies back in the bad old days. Amazingly enough, the death penalty is more humane, and I’m against the death penalty in all cases.

  71. says

    Why do we even still have marriage?
    Well, not gonna be my problem…
    I wonder if Anthony Jr. will hire a hitman for Dave’s former wife, too.

  72. chigau () says

    When making diagnoses based on a newspaper article, “evil scumbag” is as legitimate as “clearly mentally disturbed”.

  73. ichthyic says

    Okay, stop right there.

    you’re attempt at using Dunning Kruger in that instance is on the level of fail that suggests… well…

  74. ichthyic says

    It is NOT true that many abuse victims go on to abuse.

    When I see claims like this, my first thought is to check the primary literature on the subject.

    first paper I found:

    Differential adult symptomatology associated with three types of child abuse histories

    Multivariate analysis revealed that, as hypothesized, history of psychological abuse was uniquely associated with low self-esteem, physical abuse was linked to aggression toward others, and sexual abuse was specifically related to maladaptive sexual behavior. This analysis also indicated that although there were unique effects of each type of abuse, physical and emotional abuse were often present together—a combination associated with generalized psychosocial problems.

    seems you are NOT correct.

  75. Dianne says

    It would probably be best to simply sterilize and lobotomize certain individuals.

    Every time someone comes along who is bad enough for me to consider agreeing with this sort of statement, I stop and think about one question: Who would be deciding who the “undesirables” eligible for sterilization or lobotomy are? Probably someone like a version of Anthony Sr who managed to intimidate his wife better: an upstanding family man with a respectable white collar job who is devoted to his children and is a fine Christian who follows the Bible. If his wife sometimes wears dark glasses, that’s probably just a fashion statement.

  76. Mattir says

    Well, in a wonderful end to a fairly crappy day, I’ve just discovered that I cannot find my computer files with my dissertation in them. Which sucks big time.

    But for icthyic, things like “aggression towards others” includes stuff like bar fights, and

  77. ichthyic says

    I cannot find my computer files with my dissertation in them

    no backups??

    ouch.

    if files are disappearing, they most likely just got moved though.

    it’s easy to accidently drag-drop an entire folder of files into another folder without noticing in Windows, for example.

    I do it often enough.

    have you tried a file search of the entire drive?

  78. says

    The vast preponderance of adults who were abused as children do not go on to abuse their partners or children in adulthood. I can, if you wish, dig out citations galore for this fact – risk and protective factors in the intergenerational transmission of abusive parenting was the subject of my freaking dissertation.

    The often-repeated abused-kids-become-abusers meme is both FALSE AND CRUEL.

    Of course you’re right. And I apologize if I didn’t make that distinction clearly enough. It’s obviously true that the overwhelming majority of abuse-victims do not go on to become abusers. I’m sincerely sorry if it seemed like I was claiming the reverse, and I apologize for any hurt I caused.

    We are all responsible for our actions. Abuse history should be relevant in the punishment-sentencing-consequences phase of things, but is not remotely pertinent in the blogging-about-why-someone-should-stop-being-abusive phase.

    But PZ wasn’t just blogging about why Navarro should stop being abusive. As far as I can tell, no one here is disagreeing that Navarro’s behaviour is grossly abusive and that it should stop (and that it should be stopped by the intervention of law enforcement, if necessary). Rather, I was taking issue with the fact that PZ called Navarro an “evil scumbag”. I don’t think rhetoric like that is ever helpful.

    I’d argue that, as a society, we’re far too focused on solving problems by judging certain people as “bad people”, and blaming, condemning and punishing them for their behaviour. Epithets like “evil scumbag” play into that.

    When making diagnoses based on a newspaper article, “evil scumbag” is as legitimate as “clearly mentally disturbed”.

    No, it’s not – because “evil scumbag” is never an appropriate, helpful or constructive label. Whether or not he’s suffering from a diagnosable mental disorder (something on which I am unqualified to comment), we should be focused on trying to understand the causes of his behaviour, and helping him to overcome whatever problem is causing him to behave this way. This applies to everyone who exhibits a harmful pattern of behaviour.

    As a society, we need to move away from the “blame and punish” paradigm, and towards a different paradigm in which we see harmful behaviour not as a moral wrong to be punished, but as a psychological problem to be solved.

  79. Esteleth says

    @ichthyic
    You’re missing my point. My point is that a the statement “many abusers were themselves abused” is more correct than “many people who were abused go on to abuse.” The two statements are similar, but crucially different. My assertion – which I believe is supported by facts – is that the proportion of abusers were abuse victims is larger than the proportion of abuse victims who go on to abuse.
    The citation you cited does not contradict my assertion.

  80. ichthyic says

    things like “aggression towards others” includes stuff like bar fights, and

    one, read the paper before making conclusions.

    two, that’s just the first paper I ran into, I know there are many others.

  81. Mattir says

    Blaurgh – got posted before I could finish.

    To continue, “maladaptive sexual behavior” means stuff like promiscuity, vulnerability to rape and continuing sexual abuse, work in the sex industry. Not necessarily committing sexual abuse of children.

    Anyway, the stats are that a minority, IIRC, less than 20%, of abused children become abusive parents. For sexual abuse, the rates are actually even lower. It’s a classic all-As-are-B-but-not-all-Bs-are-A situation, and as I said, the way post #10 stated it is oversimplified and hurtful.

    I will find my bibliography tomorrow, or recreate it via googlefu. Right now I have to leave for the evening…

  82. ichthyic says

    is that the proportion of abusers were abuse victims is larger than the proportion of abuse victims who go on to abuse.

    fair enough, but I can’t see what the importance of such a statement is?

    It’s pretty clear that early childhood experiences do have significant effects on later behavior, and not just with abuse, but with pretty much all behavioral interactions.

  83. Mattir says

    I’m sure they’re around, but they were backed up at Spouse’s office so as to be off-site, and he left that job and did not take the files with him. Marital violence may ensue. (No, not really, but I am VERY pissed off.)

    Fortunately I have the damn piece of paper. And all the data files.

  84. ichthyic says

    less than 20%, of abused children become abusive parents.

    if the point is to suggest that if you are abused, you obviously are not guaranteed to become an abuser, of course.

    if the point is that early abuse is entirely unrelated to a predisposition to abuse later in life, then that is what I would have issue with.

    Likewise, one can be diagnosed with schizophrenia, thus have a predisposition towards having symptoms appear at some point in life, but these are not guaranteed, and there are many ways to limit the chances of symptoms appearing environmentally.

    so, if that’s the real point; that just because someone is abused, that’s no guarantee they will become abusers, then yeah, I can certainly agree with that.

  85. gijoel says

    Anyway I sent this letter of support to Dave via his brother’s shitty website.

    Dear Dave

    Sorry to hear about the breakdown of your marriage. I know that relation breakdowns can be tough, especially if you have kids. But I’m sure you can pull through it.

    I’m also sorry to hear about your insane older brother. I too have a younger brother who recently went through a divorce. I was sorry to hear it when it happened. To be honest it took me by surprise. They seemed like a great couple.

    However I didn’t stalk my brother, harass him or slander him. I didn’t set out to destroy his life because I had some insane idea about human nature or because my invisible friend in the sky told me to do so. I tried to be a good brother, by supporting him and his ex partner. If only for his kids sake and not my own.

    So I’m sorry Dave and Alison, that you’ve somehow became related to an insane megalomaniac who believes in using every means possible to enforce his will. I sorry that you have a conniving liar for a brother who made up stories in order to get you committed to an asylum.

    I hope your brother gets the medical treatment he needs and you and your family can live in peace.

    Yours
    Joel

    No doubt I’ve set myself up for harassment from this douche. But I can wear it.

  86. ichthyic says

    Fortunately I have the damn piece of paper. And all the data files.

    ah good.

    they were backed up at Spouse’s office so as to be off-site

    offsite backups are always a good idea.

    kudos on that!

  87. Esteleth says

    Ichthyic @107,
    The point is this.
    Abuse victims have a hard enough time without hearing that they’re likely to go and do the very things that were done to them to others. Do you not see how that is an inherently hurtful thing to hear? That you’re so “damaged” that you’ll hurt others?
    So while the statement “many abuse victims go on to abuse” may be objectively true (for certain values of “many”) it should be avoided.
    Because, very simply, words matter.
    And, well, if you go around thinking that victims will themselves later abuse, does that affect how you treat victims? As victims or as future abusers?

  88. says

    “clearly mentally disturbed” is in quotation marks because I was quoting your #74.

    “Mentally disturbed” does not necessarily imply a clinical diagnosis. But you’re right that I should have chosen my words better; still, you haven’t addressed the substance of my point.

    =====

    I apologize if anything I’ve said on this thread is insensitive, btw.

    It’s very difficult. On the one hand, I’m very conscious of the fact that I’m speaking from a position of privilege, never having been abused in any way myself, and that I don’t have a background in any field relevant to mental health. So I always feel awkward expressing strong and controversial views on these issues.

    On the other hand, when it touches on subjects I do know about – including the way we conceptualize “crime” and “wrongdoing”, and the way our society treats the people that we label as “criminals” – I really, really, really cannot assent to the proposition that some people are simply “evil” and that they “deserve” to suffer bad consequences. We are all, after all, products of our genes, our social conditioning, and the other external and internal factors outside our control that shape our personalities. We cannot choose to be other than we are. And labelling a person “evil”, and inflicting retribution on them, does nothing to overcome the impulses that caused their behaviour.

    Rather than identifying certain people as “bad people” who “deserve” to be “punished”, it seems to me far more constructive and positive to identify the psychological and circumstantial causes of their harmful behaviour, and to try to help them to overcome the impulses that give rise to that behaviour. This applies whether or not someone has a clinical mental disorder. It applies to every single person whose behaviour we regard as harmful.

  89. Mattir says

    Found it. (Whew.)

    Basically experiencing child abuse is a huge risk factor for all sorts of things, including mental illness, lower educational and income levels in adulthood (even adjusted for SES of origin!), relationship difficulties, and parenting problems. However, parenting problems come in a lot of different flavors and intensities, and less than 30% of parents who experienced child abuse go on to abuse their own children. Intergenerational transmission rates are highest for emotional abuse, lowest for sexual abuse, and appear to be mediated most by parental age (younger=worse), parental mental illness, and current domestic violence.

    My point was not that childhood abuse is not a risk factor for adult abusiveness – obviously it is. My point was that the way Michael way upthread described it, which was pretty much a “what can you expect from someone who experienced child abuse” type comment is of the accuracy I expect from Glenn Beck or Faux News. I’m in favor of identifying risk factors and working to minimize them, just as we do with family histories of heart disease, schizophrenia, or type II diabetes, but it’s inaccurate and hurtful to spread the abuse-leads-to-abuse idea without including quite a bit of nuance.

    Also, Walton, I was not commenting on your quite compassionate and nuanced view. It was the blue-footed-boobies comparison at #10 that pissed me off.

  90. Mattir says

    @ Matt Penfold – nuance is not dishonesty. A nuanced and compassionate view of risk factors for mental illness and abusive behavior might lead people into treatment instead of hiding.

  91. Matt Penfold says

    WTF? Dishonesty? Where have I advocated that?

    #111. Remember now ? In particular this:

    So while the statement “many abuse victims go on to abuse” may be objectively true (for certain values of “many”) it should be avoided.

    Yet it is the very information those involved in the treatment and preventing of abuse need to know. And you want to keep the fact from them.

    And please, quit the silly games. You know you said it, unless you have a serious memory impairment, so why pretend otherwise ?

  92. says

    Well, in a wonderful end to a fairly crappy day, I’ve just discovered that I cannot find my computer files with my dissertation in them.

    I know where my dissertation files are.

    On 5 1/4″ floppies.

    But don’t worry! I made a backup!

    On DECtape.

  93. ichthyic says

    On 5 1/4″ floppies.

    I recall when my major prof showed me his original dissertation…

    On punch cards.

    took up half a room.

  94. Matt Penfold says

    @ Matt Penfold – nuance is not dishonesty. A nuanced and compassionate view of risk factors for mental illness and abusive behavior might lead people into treatment instead of hiding.

    True, but Esteleth was not calling for nuance, but for facts to be hidden which is not the same thing. He or she then compounded their
    failure by trying to pretend he or she had not said it. Not honest.

    In fact wanting to keep such data from those involved in treating or preventing abuse is pretty scummy behaviour. Goes with the lack of honesty I suppose.

  95. ichthyic says

    That you’re so “damaged” that you’ll hurt others?

    good thing that’s not what I said then, but I would also add that there is a flip side to that:

    that it might be a good idea to make sure and seek extra support if you were abused, as it possibly has had long lasting impacts.

  96. ichthyic says

    My point was that the way Michael way upthread described it, which was pretty much a “what can you expect from someone who experienced child abuse” type comment

    I think we’re clear at this point.

    all good.

  97. Esteleth says

    @Matt Penfold
    Fucking flying spaghetti monster, have you utterly missed my point.

    Read Mattir’s comment @116.

    I have NEVER said that we should deny that some proportion of abuse victims go on to abuse. That would be (1) false and (2) foolish.

    What I have said is that we need to recognize that many abusers were themselves victims. We need to help victims, not pathologize them, so that they can help themselves break the cycle.

    Do you not see the difference?

    Expectations have a way of happening. If a victim who is struggling with their own anger hears the message that they may go on to abuse, are they likely to throw up their hands and say, “Oh well” and decide that it isn’t worth it to try to break the cycle? Are they equally likely to say that if instead they hear, “It is unlikely that you will ever abuse” from society?

  98. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    PZ:

    But don’t worry! I made a backup!

    On DECtape.

    *Googles*

    Okay, I’ve been feeling old lately (my 30th birthday is just 2 weeks away!), but now I don’t feel so bad.

    Can we reminisce about CD-RWs now?

  99. Matt Penfold says

    @Matt Penfold
    Fucking flying spaghetti monster, have you utterly missed my point.

    I read what you wrote. If that did not accurately covey your point the please do not blame me. I suggest you apologise for writing so badly.

    I have NEVER said that we should deny that some proportion of abuse victims go on to abuse. That would be (1) false and (2) foolish.

    No you did so say, so quit lying, but you are right, it would be foolish. Either you meant to say, and are truly foolish or you did not, in which case admit your mistake, apologise and move on. However please quit lying.

    What I have said is that we need to recognize that many abusers were themselves victims. We need to help victims, not pathologize them, so that they can help themselves break the cycle.

    Good, but we do not do that by hiding the truth, which you said we should do.

    Do you not see the difference?

    Expectations have a way of happening. If a victim who is struggling with their own anger hears the message that they may go on to abuse, are they likely to throw up their hands and say, “Oh well” and decide that it isn’t worth it to try to break the cycle? Are they equally likely to say that if instead they hear, “It is unlikely that you will ever abuse” from society?

    It seems very clear that you did not intend to suggest that we hide the truth. However your original comment did suggest that is what we should do.

    I note you are still continue to lie about what you actually said, as opposed to what you did say, so please take a decaying porcupine on your way out.

  100. Matt Penfold says

    So while the statement “many abuse victims go on to abuse” may be objectively true (for certain values of “many”) it should be avoided.

    That is the problem sentence. Had it said it is true, but we need to be careful how we say it I would not have a problem. It does not say that. It says it (the truth) should be avoided, and that does cause me a problem.

    It seems Esteleth did not mean to be so categorical and was sloppy in the choice of words. However that is his/her error, not mine. It is a pity he/she refuses to admit as much. It was the refusal to admit to an error initially that led me to assume s/he was taking a position s/he does not actually hold. Again, I am not a mind-reader and only go on what was said, rather that what was meant to have be said.

  101. Matt Penfold says

    This talk of 5 1/4″ floppies, and DEC tape reminds of a Radio 4 documentary I heard a year or so ago on the problems archivists are having storing electronic data. It seems that when it comes to long-term storage it is hard to beat top quality ink on acid-free paper stored in the right environment. No problems with eyeballs becoming obsolete, whereas even after a few years it can be difficult to recover data stored on some media, either because the media has a short life-span or the technology to read the media had become obsolete. Even the best CD/DVDs are likely to last only a few decades. It makes long-term storage an expensive business.

  102. consciousness razor says

    We need to help victims, not pathologize them, so that they can help themselves break the cycle.

    Do you not see the difference?

    Does not compute. To help people, one needs to identify the pathology causing the problem. If it is due entirely or primarily to environmental factors, then those have to be identified. Otherwise one has no way of knowing which “cycle” ought to be broken or how to do it. You’re just proposing “helping” people, but without identifying the causes, they probably won’t be helped effectively.

    Expectations have a way of happening.

    They just “have a way,” is that right? You don’t propose a mechanism, presumably because these disembodied “expectations” of which you speak just “have a way” and don’t need to be justified with silly trifles like physical evidence. Not convincing.

    If a victim who is struggling with their own anger hears the message that they may go on to abuse, are they likely to throw up their hands and say, “Oh well” and decide that it isn’t worth it to try to break the cycle? Are they equally likely to say that if instead they hear, “It is unlikely that you will ever abuse” from society?

    By trying to break “the cycle,” as you call it, this method would attempt take their cognitive functions out of the system, but that cannot happen for rather obvious reasons. Do you suppose a person’s mind can do whatever it wants, regardless of any environmental or biological influences? I don’t. As a great philosopher (G.I. Joe) once said, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” One’s outlook and behavior can change by recognizing the causes. You ought to give most people enough credit that they’re capable of doing that to at least some extent — that is, in some sense, you might be treating these victims as “damaged” and incapable of handling reality.

  103. Esteleth says

    @Matt Penfold

    As far as I can tell, you’re objecting to a single sentence in my comment @111. Namely,

    So while the statement “many abuse victims go on to abuse” may be objectively true (for certain values of “many”) it should be avoided.

    Am I correct in this? Or is there a different thing you’re objecting to?

    I was saying that if you have a choice between saying “Many abuse victims go on to abuse,” and “Many abusers were themselves victims,” then the latter is preferable, a statement that you seem to agree with. I said this at @102, again at @111 and once again @126.

    I’m rather startled that you see my comment as advocating hiding data or concealing facts or whatever since that is not what I said.

  104. Esteleth says

    It seems that I wrote @132 at the same time that Matt Penfold wrote @129.

    The crucial word there is “avoided.” I.e. if there’s a choice between that and the other statement, choose the other one.
    I did not say “forbidden.” As I said, the statement is objectively true, for given values of “many.” I also said that it is LESS TRUE than “many abusers were themselves victims,” is unhelpful, and is hurtful to victims.
    I did not say pretend that there is zero tendency for victims to go on to abuse. At any time.

  105. imthegenieicandoanything says

    I pity this horrible person just as much as I believe he is mentally ill, and likely eventually to be dangerous to himself or others.

    Scumbag? The murderer Rick Perry is a scumbag. Anybody who supports any organization with “American” and “Family” in its name or slogan is a scumbag. All “Republican” politicians and those who work for them are scumbags (something untrue even 25 years ago).

    His words and actions even at this point are intolerable and likely illegal, but he is ill. May he receive care soon, at least before his desparation leads him to even more terrible acts.

  106. says

    Scumbag? The murderer Rick Perry is a scumbag. Anybody who supports any organization with “American” and “Family” in its name or slogan is a scumbag. All “Republican” politicians and those who work for them are scumbags (something untrue even 25 years ago).

    Hmm… this raises an important and (for me) challenging point.

    On this thread, I’ve been arguing that it is not helpful or constructive to label people who engage in harmful behaviour as “evil scumbags” and similar epithets, or to blame and punish them, and that it’s more useful to understand and overcome the causes of their behaviour. I stand by that position.

    Yet I do, on occasion – especially when angered by something egregious, like the death penalty or the racist maltreatment of undocumented migrants – refer to authoritarian politicians, abusive police officers, etc., using epithets like “scumbag”, and, implicitly, hold them morally responsible for the things they do. There’s an inconsistency here in my own thinking, or, at least, in my own rhetoric.

    Can I justify this rhetorical difference, in principle? Probably not. But I think the reason for my difference in reaction is that I’m capable of getting much more angry at those with power than at those without it. The difference between Rick Perry and Anthony Navarro is that Perry has a great deal more power to hurt a great many more people than Navarro does, with the weight of coercive state power behind him; and while few people would defend Navarro’s conduct, millions of American voters seem happy to defend Perry and to continue electing him to public office. That’s why I have a much stronger emotional reaction.

    Despite my instinctive anger, I certainly don’t bear malice towards someone like Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann; I don’t want to see them harmed personally in any way, or subjected to any sort of vengeance. Rather, I just want to see them removed from office, and their ideas excised from the business of government. I don’t want to hurt them; I just want to remove from them the power to hurt other people.

    (For this reason, I don’t really support the idea of, say, prosecuting Bush or Cheney for their involvement in torture and war crimes. Not because I don’t think they’re guilty of various crimes – they are – but because I don’t believe in retribution, and don’t see any point in taking such action against someone who no longer has any power. The only justification for such action is to “send a message” to other future political leaders; and I’m generally uncomfortable, in any context, with the mindset of il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.)

  107. raven says

    The point is that religion provides a unique cover for such people, because it provides no basis for distinguishing true claims from false ones.

    Sure they do. They just fight wars. The winner was the one who was correct.

    Since we in the west took away their heavy weapons, it’s gotten a lot harder for them. That is why we have 42,000 different xian sects and more are formed every year.

    And BTW, distinuishing true from false xian claims is sort of a losing proposition. It’s not at all clear that any of their claims are…true.

  108. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    PZ,
    I’m sure there must be a computer geek type somewhere in Morris who has the equipment and could transfer your stuff from the old disks to a modern format (if you really want it).
    Hmmm, I have an old 5 1/4 floppy drive in a box somewhere in the basement. I wonder, if I hooked it up to my XP box, if I could get it to work and read those disks from the autocad course I took way back in college?

  109. Childermass says

    A reasonable person will conclude that this is a death threat. There is not jurisdiction in the United States where that that not a damn serious felony. I really don’t see too many juries not convicting if it can be shown that he wrote the note which should not be that difficult.

    Indeed, intentionally making someone fearful of the prospect of being attacked is illegal in and of itself. Harassment plus civil actions are also in play. The evil brother is legally ****ed.

  110. raven says

    @138

    Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

    HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

    Dave: What’s the problem?

    HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

    #69:

    Is this one of those valuable social benefits religion brings?

    Not quite. This is that sophisticated theology we keep hearing about.

  111. Pacal says

    Walton you say (101)

    No, it’s not – because “evil scumbag” is never an appropriate, helpful or constructive label. Whether or not he’s suffering from a diagnosable mental disorder (something on which I am unqualified to comment), we should be focused on trying to understand the causes of his behaviour, and helping him to overcome whatever problem is causing him to behave this way. This applies to everyone who exhibits a harmful pattern of behaviour.

    I must disagree the focus should be on protecting people from being abused etc., from peope like this guy, and preventing them from now and in the future victimizing others. Of course if possible the person should be treated but protecting his actual and potential victims from him is the priority.

  112. Paul says

    I so agree with everything Walton says about the idea of evil, retribution, and punishment; not just in this thread, but whenever it comes up. I’ve worked with thousands of kids over thirty years in various jobs, and some of them have shown severe behavior problems, including repeated acts of violence against me. But it’s never occurred to me to think of any of them as ‘bad’. And it always stumps me when people I work with find it easy to give up on kids who have issues by simply saying — and clearly believing — that a kid is ‘just bad’.

    When you are able to get past this kind of thinking, the idea of punishment, and our entire legal system of ‘justice’, make no sense at all.

  113. Matt Penfold says

    I’m rather startled that you see my comment as advocating hiding data or concealing facts or whatever since that is not what I said.

    No, it is what you said, although clearly it is not what you meant to say.

    Take responsibility for your own failings, and stop trying to claim they are the fault of others.

  114. ChasCPeterson says

    I recall when my major prof showed me his original dissertation…On punch cards.

    This makes no sense to me. IBM cards (with which I was once familiar) were used as an input medium. Nobody used them as storage media (afaik) and for that matter (and again afaik), nobody did word-processing on computers back then anyway. Ever used a card-puncher? There’s no way anybody sane would try to type pure text into those fuckers.

    guess I could be wrong

  115. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I recall when my major prof showed me his original dissertation…On punch cards.

    Before the days of word processors people wrote things like dissertations on “typewriters.” I have an old IBM Selectric II typewriter in my basement. The thing still worked the last time I tried it about five years ago.

  116. Carbon Based Life Form says

    I don’t really support the idea of, say, prosecuting Bush or Cheney for their involvement in torture and war crimes. Not because I don’t think they’re guilty of various crimes – they are – but because I don’t believe in retribution, and don’t see any point in taking such action against someone who no longer has any power. The only justification for such action is to “send a message” to other future political leaders; and I’m generally uncomfortable, in any context, with the mindset of il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres

    The problem with this is that you are allowing felons to get away scot-free. Here is 18 U.S.C. § 2340A. Torture

    (a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

    (b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
    (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
    (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

    (c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

    Note paragraph (c), which says that the people who order the torture are to be treated in exactly the same way as those who carry out the torture.

    By saying that Bush and Cheney should not be prosecuted, your message to future officials is that torturing people is OK. I think that prosecuting Bush and Cheney would send a far better message. I realize that political considerations mean they won’t, but still the message is that torturing prisoners is just fine.

  117. says

    For your amusement: this “salty droid” clown has declared war on me.

    The hatemongers at his site also claim I’ve simply swallowed Naomi Dunford’s “lies”. This is particularly amusing since I assumed Dunford was going to be a biased source, so the only things I quoted here were Anthony Navarro’s own words, and the account of the murder of his mother that you can verify on various Florida news sources. There are no lies here.

  118. Maria says

    @PZ Myers – I hope that my post with a link didn’t somehow lead to this. I don’t even know what to say…

  119. pelamun says

    PZ:

    ouch, that hurts. I went to check out the website, and at first glance, it looked like a respectable anti-scamming site, but then I looked at some of the Dunford-related postings, and they were full of raging rambling, misogynist shit. Good call on putting it on your blacklist.

  120. ichthyic says

    nobody did word-processing on computers back then anyway

    OK, it wasn’t just word processing that goes into a thesis; there is a lot of experimental data as well. He programmed the whole shebang into those punch cards; the text, the data, the analytical method, all of it.

  121. ichthyic says

    …why did he keep 12 boxes of punch cards?

    I never really did get a good answer beyond “nostalgia”.

    not like he was going to ever be able to repeat the program contained in them.

  122. ichthyic says

    For your amusement: this “salty droid” clown has declared war on me.

    that indeed should be amusing, for a few days, anyway.

  123. Se Habla Espol says

    I used a card puncher for data input.
    In 1986.
    I was only following orders.

    I never used a card puncher, but my boss had one for history. ‘Card Puncher’ is a term of art for a small, manual device into which you could register a card, punch a column using manual force, move the card to the next column (sometimes with spring assistance), and continue. Professionals, like we were, used power-operated devices for punching cards — devices called keypunches. In our card-oriented Data Processing shop, in the early 1960s, we used unit-record machines, a small computer with punched-card input and output, and a small staff to maintain the card files for our 1/4 million clients.
    Original input to the shop was on paper, converted to punched cards by a group of keypunch operators. The input was handled by people, updating the files by hand, with a little help from the unit-record machines.
    Output was mostly monthly checks, on punched cards, which were normally returned by the bank as secondary input. They were matched against the punched-card file of checks issued, to find exceptions, processed by hand. The checks were filed in the back room for a sufficient number of years.
    Yes, folks, punched cards were, in their day, used as storage media.

  124. Nutella says

    kerfuffle @78

    You said: ‘There are no angels in this story. Dave & the other woman are semi-scam artists who market “how to have a successful blog/internet business” ebooks, even though neither of them actually have a successful blog or business.’

    They sell marketing advice through their blogs and internet sites. They make (or made, before this mess) their livings marketing and selling that marketing advice. That means they are fully qualified to do that because they do (or did, before this mess) have successful blogs and businesses.

    Now if you aren’t interested in their products or think they’re overpriced or poor quality, you’d be a fool to buy them. But calling people who sell marketing advice over the internet “semi-scam artists” just because they sell it over the internet is out of line.

    Salty, is that you?

  125. chigau () says

    Se Habla Espol
    Right you are.
    I used a keypunch.

    Some of my government-issued cheques were on actual computer-cards.
    I bet you remember “Do not fold, spindle or mutilate.”

    but are you old enough for gestetner?

  126. Ichthyic says

    checks back in for next episode in “Salty’s War”…

    *crickets*

    damnit.

    all that popcorn gone to waste.

  127. GravityIsJustATheory says

    Revenge is an irrational response.

    I dispute that. It may not always be the most effective method of preventing or deterring agression (particularly in a civilized society where enough resources are made available for better ways of dealing with it), but it can (depending on the nature of the punishment) physically prevent to guilty party reoffending, can deter them or others from (re)offending, and establishes that society will not stand for the behaviour being “revenged” against.

    It may not always be the best response (and choosing revenge over a more effective solution for emotional reasons would be irrational), but I don’t see revenge or punishment as inherently irrational themselves – any more than a “tit for tat” strategey in a game of itterative Prisoners’ Dilemma is irrational.

    I’m not convinced that calling him an “evil scumbag” is helpful or constructive.

    Again, it establishes that his behaviour is unacceptable. If responding to acts of sexual abuse with comments like “she was asking for it” or “boys will be boys” encourages a social climate in which such abuse is more commonplace or excused, then surely responding with “the perpetrator is an evil scumbag” will have the opposite effect.

    Now, if we have free will, then “evil” cannot be a reason for someone’s behaviour, just a description.

    On the other hand, if we don’t have free will, and our attitudes and actions are just a complex deterministic response to the interaction between the way our brain is wired and the stimulations we recieve from our environment, then arguably someone who’s brain setup is highly likely to respond to stimuli in a extremely harmful and antisocial manner could legitimately be described as a “bad person”.

  128. paulmurphy says

    @Nutella

    “But calling people who sell marketing advice over the internet “semi-scam artists” just because they sell it over the internet is out of line.”

    As is ripping people to shreds because of their religious beliefs.

    Many of the people commenting here, including the owner of this site, have their collective heads stuck way up their own self-important arses.

    Free-thinkers and liberal??

    Most of you are as fundamentalist as the “Fundies” you so arrogantly deride.

  129. speedwell says

    I had a conversation with my brother a couple of months ago in which I discussed the conclusion of my therapy for anxiety and depression (yay). He said “I remember that Mom and Dad were always much too hard on you” and “I expected you to be a wreck when you grew up, and I see you’ve always had emotional problems.” He went on to say, “It’s probably just as well you lost your son back when you were in your 20s because you know, you wouldn’t have wanted to turn around and be like what you think Mom and Dad were like.” Needless to say, my brother is just that criminally tactless and not-so-subtly blaming me for what happened in our childhood.

    I had pretty much convinced myself of the same things, as it happened. But when my brother said them, I realized that his viewpoint was skewed, so mine must have been, too. I have no evidence at all that I’m likely to be emotionally abusive to kids. In fact, emotionally abused kids seem to love me for being kind and honest and understanding to them, and they sometimes get their friends to come talk to me. I’m really grateful to Mattir et al. for pointing out to me in so many words that a minority of abused kids grow up to be abusers.

    Oh, and yes, I’m aware that my brother is a jerk, in that he’s perpetuating his childhood “pick on Sister” training. But even despite being the witness to abuse (which is itself a form of abuse), he and his wife have raised two happy, high-achieving boys.

  130. Thomathy, now gayer and atheister says

    Paulmurphy, drive by idiot or incompetent troll? Stay tuned to this old thread to find out or …

    Paulmurphy, I expect you’ll get more responses in a more current thread. It’s so fresh, and your drivel would really muddy the place up!

  131. paulmurphy says

    Thanks for the link ;)

    LOL you guys certainly don’t need me for that.

    You do a good job of muddying up the thread with your own pseudo-intellectual, patronizing, bigoted bull-shit and drivel.

    Let’s see how long your “free-thinking” cult leader leaves this comment up.

  132. StarStuff! Because f**k you, that's why says

    Most of you are as fundamentalist as the “Fundies” you so arrogantly deride.

    Oh, you so clever. I’ve never heard that one before.
    That’s so true… No wait, it isn’t. It’s fucking stupid. The difference is, we don’t indiscriminately hate people because some book tells us to. We have evidence backing our views up. And if anyone could give us real proof that god exists, we’d all change our views.
    Also we don’t “arrogantly deride” fundamentalists. We just criticize them for how they treat other human beings (And maybe a little bit for believing crazy shit without evidence).
    How about this: when was the last time an atheist shot a religious leader just for their beliefs or for what they do for a living? How about the last time a fundamentalist shot/bombed an abortion doctor?

  133. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Most of you are as fundamentalist as the “Fundies” you so arrogantly deride.

    sigh

    One of those ignoramuses.

  134. says

    paulmurphy:

    As is ripping people to shreds because of their religious beliefs.

    Why is that a problem? If a person believes stupid things, what’s wrong with calling them out on their stupid beliefs? Especially when those stupid beliefs adversely affect others.

    You haven’t established a problem here, so your complaint is really just a lot of whining.

    Many of the people commenting here, including the owner of this site, have their collective heads stuck way up their own self-important arses.

    Saves us the expense of colonoscopies, now, doesn’t it?

    Really, this is funny. How are our collective heads stuck up our asses? What are we missing that you, in all your brilliant glory, understand?

    Free-thinkers and liberal??

    I’m not sure “liberal” means, “accept any fucking belief whatsoever, no matter how dangerous.”

    Most of you are as fundamentalist as the “Fundies” you so arrogantly deride.

    Really? In what way? Which beliefs of ours are indefensible? In what way are we not open to new evidence or new ideas?

    Really, you can do better than that. Your little screed was so non-specific and vague as to be ass-useless. If your attempt was to shame us with your righteous indignation, you failed to demonstrate anything for which we should be ashamed. If you simply attempted to show how close-minded we are, you failed to demonstrate an instance in which we did not consider evidence.

    If, on the other hand, your intent was to demonstrate you are a micro-encephalitic fool who doesn’t understand the meaning of the words you use, you are spot-on.

  135. Gaebolga says

    paulmurphy wrote:

    Let’s see how long your “free-thinking” cult leader leaves this comment up.

    Well, that depends.

    How long before you start impersonating other users, engaging in sockpuppetry, violating privacy, proselytizing, spamming, or trolling?

    ‘Cause your comments will stay up until then.

    Of course excessive stupidity is also listed as banworthy, but you’d have to display epicly more stupid than you have so far to qualify for that.

    I’m sure you could rise to the challenge if you try, though….

  136. ChasCPeterson says

    Let’s see how long your “free-thinking” cult leader leaves this comment up.

    Why would you think it’s going anywhere?
    You’ll have to be way more obnoxious than you’ve managed so far to get banned here.

    Should you wish to go for it, though, here‘s a handy reference. Hell, here; I’ll do you a favor:

    What happens if you violate the mores? Mostly nothing, except that you antagonize a notoriously ruthless commentariat. I may be the ultimate overlord, but I’m mostly benignly lazy, and I’m usually content to allow the other readers to make this an uncomfortable place for you….

    I have a couple of levels of response for chronic troublemakers.

    Warnings….
    Disemvoweling….
    Banning. Serious misbehavior or a frequent habit of derailing whole threads, or committing a banworthy offense, will get your posting privileges removed, and your name will be entered in the dungeon. I log everyone who gets banned, as a warning to others….
    Banning and comment deletion….
    Banning, deletion, and public exposure….

    What are the banworthy offenses? Don’t do any of these things.
    Impersonating other users….
    Sockpuppetry….
    Violating privacy….
    Proselytizing….
    Spamming….
    Trolling….
    Stupidity….

    Good luck!

  137. Dianne says

    Let’s see how long your “free-thinking” cult leader leaves this comment up.

    Don’t worry. Your comments will stay up. Our leader is generous and gracious and does not deprive his followers of chew toys. If you get too obnoxious, you might bring down the ban hammer, but that will happen only after appropriate warnings and for explicitly stated reasons.

  138. says

    paulmurphy:

    You do a good job of muddying up the thread with your own pseudo-intellectual, patronizing, bigoted bull-shit and drivel.

    Again, your troll would be so much more effective if you would give some examples. It’d be especially effective if you could take some of the better comments and demonstrate how intellectually lazy they were.

    Also, explain how we are bigoted. That should be amusing.

    Patronizing, I understand. Fuck, I’m patronizing all the time. It’s hard not to be patronizing, when you’re smarter than the person to whom you’re responding.

    Let’s see how long your “free-thinking” cult leader leaves this comment up.

    What kind of place do you think this is? This isn’t some walled garden where comments get deleted just because a moderator doesn’t like them. You’re thinking of Christian websites. I’m not sure how you could confuse this site with a Christian site, but it’s not the only mistake you’ve made.

    No, please try to be a better troll. As it is, you’re hardly worth the effort, and then only because there’s nobody else around with whom to play.

  139. Rey Fox says

    Most of you are as fundamentalist as the “Fundies” you so arrogantly deride.

    What are our fundamentals?

  140. Wyrd says

    @PZ Myers:

    There may not have been any lies, but there may have been some misrepresentations.


    Furry cows moo and decompress.

  141. Gaebolga says

    Wyrd wrote:

    There may not have been any lies, but there may have been some misrepresentations.

    Well then surely you can provide some examples to back up that claim, right?

  142. says

    Wyrd:

    There may not have been any lies, but there may have been some misrepresentations.

    Ah. So, you’re not certain there were any misrepresentation. There just may have been some.

    Interestingly, you may have a habit of sexually abusing small kittens.